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Disability Qualification

Many students with invisible disabilities involved in academic and extracurricular activities may be difficult to identify. Many of these students do not need special accommodations and others will only need minor accommodations.

The Office of Disability Services can only help if students make their needs or concerns known.

"Who is an Individual with Disabilities?"

Any person who

  1. has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working);
  2. has a record of such an impairment (has a history of a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities); or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment. A person may be included in this definition if he or she:
    • has a physical or mental impairment that does substantially limit major life activities but is not treated by the institution as though such a limitation exists;
    • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such an impairment; or
    • has none of the impairments defined below under "physical or mental impairments," but is treated by the institution as having such an impairment.

Physical or mental impairment, as defined means:

  1. any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or
  2. any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

Physical impairment may include disabilities and conditions such as:

  • orthopedic
  • visual
  • speech
  • hearing impairments
  • cerebral palsy
  • epilepsy
  • muscular dystrophy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • mental retardation
  • emotional illness
  • drug addiction
  • alcoholism

Mental impairment may include disabilities and conditions such as:

  • perceptual handicaps
  • brain injury
  • minimal brain dysfunction
  • dyslexia
  • developmental aphasia

Other disabilities:

  • ADHD
  • Autism

The information above under the heading, “Who is an Individual with Disabilities?” was taken from the Guide to the Section 504 Self-Evaluation for Colleges and Universities.